Courageous Carnelian

Today was a big day for me. I had my third and final interview for a marketing job with a prestigious company. I would be meeting the head of the company and explain why I would be the perfect fit for the role. Besides the standard meet-and-greet, I had to prepare a twenty-minute presentation to showcase my knowledge of the industry.

True to my worker bee ethic, I began researching and preparing for this meeting nearly a week in advance. Despite numerous hours of work and preparation, I felt as though I needed a little confidence boost to get me through. Browsing through my crystal collection, I was instantly drawn to my beautiful tumbled piece of carnelian. The stone’s appearance is joyful and energetic. Its orange hue along with specks of red and black throughout this gives off a playful impression. I placed my crystal companion in my work bag and headed out with a bit more confidence and enthusiasm in my step.

(The orange color is a bit faded since my crystal primarily “lives” on my fireplace mantel near a window. Sunlight can cause fading in certain stones. It turns out that Ireland does get sun from time to time!)

Metaphysical properties of carnelian:

As part of the quartz family of stones, carnelian is used primarily to promote motivation, clarification, action, and courage. Its alias is the “Singer Stone” as it aids in clear communication and helps timid speakers become both eloquent and bold. This came in especially handy today as I experienced quite the technical conundrum in my interview. My PowerPoint would not load, no matter how we attempted to upload it. While technical difficulties would be a nightmare in most interview scenarios, I easily recited my presentation by memory and gave a thorough, well-executed presentation. Those in attendance were quite pleased with my performance and I help elated when it was finished. After receiving high reviews and many “well done’s” from the marketing team, I left my interview with a sense of certainty and encouragement.

Shortly thereafter, while commuting from my interview, I received a phone call from my headhunter. In an enthusiastic tone, she explained that after speaking with the head of marketing that they were very pleased with my presentation, despite the lack of Powerpoint. While nothing compares to earnest hard work and preparation, I must say having the little carnelian with me may have amped up my presenting skills. I should find out in the following days whether or not I got the job. Fingers crossed!!


Do you have a go-to crystal when you have a big presentation or an important event to attend? How do you spiritually prepare yourself for big moments?



Getting to know the Psychic Teachers

I’m a loyal podcast listener, sticking to only two podcasts: Psychic Teachers (of course) and My Favorite Murder (to fulfill my dark sense of humor and my deep interest in true crime). Recently, the beloved Psychic Teachers have each had air time on The Positive Head podcast. Deb and Samantha were each featured individually to discuss their background in spirituality and their intuitive abilities, as well as provided great insight into current projects they are working on.

I find it refreshing to learn about those who have had a profound effect on my life. It’s almost as fun as long-forgotten MTV series “Diary” where you get a sneak peek into the lives of your favorite celebrities. Below are the links for the interviews with Deb and Samantha:






The True Cost

I’ll admit it; I love clothes shopping. Despite having a closet and a dresser overflowing with clothing, whenever I pass by a shop I am usually compelled to go in a browse around. While the status of my checking account is the largest influencer on whether or not I can indulge in a fashion purchase, I have become more aware of the bigger picture. The “fast-fashion” industry has a detrimental effect on our global environment, perpetuates social inequality, and continues to treat garment workers unfairly through inhumane working conditions and low wages (despite major fashion houses grossing record profits each year!).

The Netflix documentary, The True Cost, examines the various elements of the fashion industry and provides an in-depth, first-hand approach into he effects of corporate greed. Understandably, as the cost of living continues to increase and wages remain stagnant, consumers are always on the hunt for the next deal. There should be, however, more important factors to consider prior to making a purchase other than the price. The sourcing of raw materials which go into each garment has significant impacts on our planet. Toxic chemicals are used while growing cotton. Chemicals used in leather tanneries are carelessly drained into nearby rivers and streams, completely destroying the ecology and poisoning animals and people. A chemistry experiment of sorts is being conducted on the fabrics which drape our bodies. Many are coming forward with claims that toxic substances within their clothing have led to a disease diagnosis.

Millions of people in developing nations are being exploited in unsafe warehouses and sweatshops. These days, it seems that each week a story comes out of Bangladesh or India telling of building collapses, factory fires, and other horrific tales of garment worker plight. The true cost of fashion is beyond the number on the garment tag. Behind every article of clothing is a person who worked long hours in usually unfavorable conditions with little pay. Every human deserves opportunities to earn a decent living and live a life of fulfillment and dignity.

Ways to help:

  • Become a conscious shopper and only buy clothes when you really need to. This will not only limit time spent aimlessly strolling through shops but will limit frivolous spending.
  • Refrain from shopping at large, “fast-fashion” stores such as Forever 21, H&M, Zara, and Urban Outfitters
  • Purchase items from reputable sustainable and eco-friendly brands. This list provides a quick guide for 35 Fair Trade & Ethical Clothing Brands.
  • Support your local thrift shops and give a new life to second-hand apparel. This website will let you know which thrift shops are near you!
  • Stay abreast with the latest news and policies which deal with the fashion industry. Check out the Clean Clothes Campaign on ways you can contribute and make the world a better place for the world’s 40 million garment workers.
  • Next time you’re going shopping, ask yourself:

Is this

really worth this?

What are your thoughts on the “fast-fashion” industry? Do you believe clothing manufacturers will ever be compelled to forgo their harmful practices?

Gemstone smoking pieces

The relationship between a cannabis smoker and his/her pipe is sacred. Most people I know are very protective and nurturing to their pieces. Treating their pipe with care, cleaning it regularly, keeping it in a safe place, and even ascribing it with a name.

As I currently live in Ireland, a nation which cherishes alcohol over any other substance, finding nice quality and good-looking pipes can be a difficult feat. Thankfully, the global shopping mall of the Internet provides wonderful options. Etsy is a great source for handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces. The American shop, “the crystal vibes” showcases a dazzling assortment of handmade smoking pieces made out of quality gemstones and crystals. Every goddess’s dream come true!

I have yet to order my own as I’m awaiting a reason to treat myself to such a beautiful item. The product reviews are excellent (the majority of respondents left 5 stars!). The prices are also reasonable (all products priced under $100), considering every piece is made-to-order and crafted by hand using top-quality crystals.

You can also check out the latest pieces added to the collection on the crystalv1bes Instagram!

Purple aura pipe

(Source: IG crystalv1bes)





Acid house

Whatever label you’d like to place on the British musician known as Bonobo won’t capture the full essence of his music. His music comes across more like a work of art, highlighting a uniquely creative blend of tonality and sounds. Each album showcases an exceptional harmony of drum beats and ambient tones that all resonate deep within the soul. I love it when music has that effect.

I prefer listening to Bonobo while I’m working, studying, and writing. I feel more focused and centered as there usually aren’t lyrical songs to get distracted by and sing along to. Ideally, Bonobo would be the perfect soundtrack for a leisurely poolside day, a train ride through gorgeous scenery, or cooking a lovely dinner. The music is relaxing, sophisticated, spiritual and adds a sense of elevated refinement.

Give these albums a listen:

Animal Magic


The North Borders

Black Sands



Similar artists:

Thievery Corporation


Nightmares on Wax


Zero 7




What’s the future of “tiny home” living?

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of getting by with less. Noticing the increased popularity in “tiny home” living through trendy television shows such as HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living and Tiny House Buildersindicates a growing demand for a more minimalistic approach to living. Recent films, such as the trending Netflix documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Thingsdiscuss the financial and personal gains one can expect to receive once adopting an excess-free lifestyle.

After the devastating housing crisis and financial crash of 2008, many Americans began accepting the realization that living beyond one’s means is not a viable pursuit. Keeping up with hefty mortgage payments each month while maintaining the upkeep costs of a larger home puts constraints on one’s pocketbook. Dealing with excessive monthly expenses just to cover the bare minimum of home ownership cannot be sustained in such a turbulent and uncertain economy and job market. The days of spending an entire career with a single firm or company are over. Even more concerning, wages have not increased to keep up with the cost of living. A recent study conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that only 0.1% of US minimum wage workers can afford a 1-bedroom apartment.

As much as I would like to remain positive and hopeful, seeing the reality through rose-colored glasses cannot blind from the truth. Numbers matter:

Okay, the average income in the US is slightly less than $52,000. The average house price is near $260,000. Generally, I’ve heard that one’s house mortgage should be 2 to 2.5 times the amount of one’s yearly income. In this case, the average American income should afford a mortgage of $130,000. This is half of the amount of the average house price. The numbers don’t add up.

Could tiny homes be the solution?

Minimizing= More Money?

While one may choose to build a luxury tiny home complete with top-of-the-line appliances and amenities, the average price for a tiny home is around $23,000 (91% less than the average American house price). This Spruce article showcases five tiny homes that were all built for a minimal price: between $500 and $12,000!

Besides the financial appeal of tiny home pricing, living in smaller accommodations encourages (or enforces because of space constraints) one to adopt a minimalist approach to life. Living in a 300 sq. ft. or less house means owning less stuff. You will have to downsize your wardrobe as an overly packed closet will not psychically fit in the confines of the home. You will adapt to less space by ridding yourself of knickknacks, collections of forgotten DVD’s and CD’s, and other space-taking, unimportant  possessions (i.e. the dreaded “C” word, CLUTTER). You will learn to do more with less. You will begin to easily decipher between the things you need to survive and the things which temporarily filled a want.

Small square footage also cuts back on utility costs. This detailed list outlined by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (how cute is that company name?!) highlights the main ways tiny house living can save you hundreds of dollars each month! Furthermore, by saving less on housing costs you will have more money to save or invest in preparation for retirement. This is an appealing aspect of minimalistic living as the majority of Americans aren’t even saving for retirement.

Downsizing creates options

One of the main allures of tiny homes is that they can be attached to a wheel chassis meaning you are free to travel everywhere with your home! Just as a tortoise travels with his home on his back, you are free to move about and pick your ideal housing location. If you have the luxury to work remotely, you have the options of where you would like to place your tiny home.

You may choose to live in the places you’ve only dreamt about; an expansive mountain range region, a sunny beach locale, a sweeping prairie are all available options once you’ve transitioned into a tiny house lifestyle.

Community appeal

The stereotypical tiny house dweller brings to mind a long-haired, scraggly-bearded recluse. However, as this lifestyle has gained in popularity over the years, the community has grown tremendously. There are many charming, well-maintained tiny house communities all throughout the U.S. Likeminded minimalists and tiny home dwellers also share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences through online forums on Facebook and Reddit.

What’s the future of the “tiny home” movement?

As this lifestyle is still viewed as “on the fringe”, getting these minimalist ideas to the mainstream may take more time and convincing. The American mindset is still clouded by notions of grandeur and comparison. The motif of “keeping up with the Joneses” is still very much embedded deeply into the American psyche. Despite dire financial struggles many families are facing these days, the pressure to purchase the latest and greatest items and showcase an appearance of wealth and privilege are still coveted American ideals. Banks continue to lend out large sums of money, encouraging those on fixed incomes to buy, buy, buy and pay off later. The pattern of inflation and frivolous money loaning which created the last economic downturn almost a decade ago has reemerged. A pattern of bubbles looms over the U.S. Student loan debts. Housing mortgage debts. Credit card debit (which is the highest it’s ever been in history, $1,000,000,000,000.00). What happens when the bubbles burst this time?

On a positive note, I am encouraged by the steady growth in the tiny house market. Perhaps another federal/global financial disaster will encourage more people to assess their earnings to spending ratio and adopt a simpler, more cost effective way of living.


Four Horsemen

“To really understand something is to be liberated from it. Dedicating oneself to a great cause, taking responsibility and gaining self-knowledge is the essence of being human.” 

As an avid documentary viewer, I have yet to come across a more profound, insightful, and thought-provoking film. This brilliantly made documentary exposes how pervasive, systematic greed and corruption have led our global economy and overall society down a slippery slope of unparalleled disparity, inequality, and environmental destruction.

Please take the time to watch this film and see for yourself.


While never being much of a “math person,” it’s difficult not to overlook the profound connection numbers have in the Universe. It can be said with confidence that “everything in the Universe is made of math.” Mathematical formulas exist everywhere! From nature, to outer space, to your name, to your birthdate, numerical significance exists. The Psychic Teachers recently covered this topic in one of their #tbt episodes.

As I’m not a quantum physicist or “mathlete” by any means, I will not go too in-depth with mathematical formulas in correlation to birth dates and alphabetical appropriation. There are plenty of resources (and videos!) which provide a step-by-step guide to calculating the numerical significance attributed to your current life path.

Numerology calculator: This free, easy-to-use web page allows you to enter your birthdate and receive an instant calculation of your life path number.

Birthday/Karmic calculator: This website provides a more detailed analysis of your Karmic life path number.

Indian name numerology calculator: This site allows you to type in your full name and then provides you an in-depth analysis on your Vedic name number.

Also, Felicia Bender’s website is another great resource into the exciting world of numbers and spiritual connection.

Ironically, my name and birthdate numerology all calculate to a number 3! Three’s are said to be highly creative and expressive. There is, of course, much more information outlined for each life path number. Aren’t you curious to discover the numbers related to your life?

Architecture Top 10

Marvelous. Breathtaking. Mind-blowing.

I cannot contain my enthusiasm for this Netflix series! Each episode showcases spectacular architectural marvels throughout the world from buildings and bridges to other manmade constructions! One does not have to be an engineering-enthusiast or architecture student to appreciate this show. Each manmade wonder presented highlights the history of its design and construction, along with impressive facts and figures pertaining to the structure’s design. Ancient and modern-era designs are discussed.

For me, this show is a reminder of the astonishing feats humans can accomplish once everyone works together for a common goal. These impressive architectural feats correspond to incredible human connection and genuine interests in making the world a better place.

Why you should watch this show:

  • You will learn a great deal of history and insight into the world’s most famous and iconic structures
  • You will feel encouraged to learn more (awakens the inner-nerd!)
  • You may feel a new found sense of optimism for humanity
  • It’s an entertaining and insightful experience which can reach a broad audience of all ages

Have you seen Netflix’s Architecture Top 10 yet? Are there any similar shows that you can’t stop thinking/raving about?

Feeling “at home”

I live in North Cork.

For anyone familiar with Cork City, saying that you reside in the “north side” comes with an air of privilege and prestige. Not because it’s a posh area, rather, the working-class neighborhoods on the north side are known to be gritty and rough. 1960’s era row homes dot the hilly landscape. Tough guys in matching tracksuits march by with leashed Jack Russells in one hand and intimidating hurling sticks in the other. The association with the north side is that you are tenacious and resilient. My neighbors walk along the gritty sidewalks with pride and confidence. Despite economic hardships and lack of infrastructural development, I never shy away from telling others about my residence when I get the FAQ, “whereabouts do ya live?”

The house in which my boyfriend and I currently reside is a palace by Irish living standards. Our two bedroom home, complete with a charming gas fireplace and spacious back garden, sits atop a steep hill. Though scaling this hill can be a bit physically challenging, the views into the city center are unparalleled. Sometimes, I admire the view from our bedroom window and imagine myself to be the “Princess of the North Side.” All I need is a bedazzled tiara to accompany a matching Adidas tracksuit.

I have officially lived in Ireland for one year now. I have just recently begun to reflect on all that has transpired over the course of this year. I completed a 20,000 word Masters thesis, joined a volleyball team, developed a loving relationship with a German man (whom I met my second week in the country), and moved into a beautiful home.

Home. This concept has jumped around in my mind every since I moved away from Texas. I had lived in the Houston-area for the majority of my life. Although I had been fortunate enough to travel to many places in the world, I had never allowed myself to commit to moving abroad. When I arrived in Ireland on September 1, 2016, I was determined to make this new country my home. Discovering the lovely rental house on the north side hilltop, was an opportunity my boyfriend and I could not pass up, especially considering the housing shortage impacting most Irish cities.

My boyfriend and I are not native to Ireland. He is from Bavaria, and I’m from the States. Understandably, sometimes we both experience sadness and homesickness. With our house, however, we are determined to create and sustain a sense of belonging and contentment. Home is not about perfection. Placing unfair expectations into what makes you feel “at home” will only perpetuate feelings of unease and discomfort.

We spend a lot of time in our home. We cook dinners together every night. We hang our laundry out to dry on the line in the back garden. We planted flowers in decorative flower pots. We enjoy cool evenings on our patio, listening to the birds around us, watching the sky’s hues shift, blend, and transition as the sun sets. When it’s raining (which happens quite often), we snuggle up in our cozy den. A home is about the moments you enjoy.

How do you feel about your home? What do you do to make the most out of your living situation?